You may have heard the term “dummy booking” thrown around before but may not be familiar with it. We’ll go over that and a few examples here in this post.
What is a Dummy Booking?
“Dummy booking” refers to a trick that allows people to find higher-than-normal sign-up bonuses on a new credit card. This is a good trick to know because periodically, these bonuses will be higher than the public offers found on the card issuer’s homepage.
How do you create a dummy booking?
Easy. It’s like creating an actual booking except you stop just shy of actually paying for that hotel room or airline ticket. Again, you don’t have to pay for anything for this trick! For most cards, the sign-up offer will appear right before you confirm the booking.
Let’s look at a few examples. Some of these offers are expired but they’re good to keep in mind in case they return.
Hotel Cards (Hyatt)
Load the Hyatt home page and log into your account. Pick a city and schedule and search for rooms.
Pick a hotel. Any one of them will do.
Continue to book the room.
On the payment page just below the payment fields, you will see an advertisement from Chase encouraging you to apply for the Hyatt card.
Click it and it will take you to the landing page of the offer with an extra $50.
Airline Cards (United Explorer)
Load up the United home page. The home page may advertise the public 50K offer. We’re going to ignore that one and continue to search for a ticket.
The results page will show a new offer, this time for 50K bonus miles PLUS a $50 statement credit.
Clicking through to the landing page will confirm that you’ll receive the miles and the statement credit.
Here’s a list of cards that can offer better sign-up bonuses through dummy bookings:
- Chase United Explorer usually with an extra $50
- Amex Gold Delta usually with an extra $50
- BoA Alaska usually with an extra $100
- Chase IHG usually with an extra $50
- Chase Hyatt usually with an extra $50
- Amex SPG a few people see 30k instead of 25k
Please note that this post was just an exercise on how dummy bookings work. Not all of the offers are currently available. But if and when they do become available, we’ll be sure to let you know!